Technology Researchers demonstrate liquid metal RAM, bringing us closer to flexible, implantable hardware


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Aug 17, 2014
Glancing at the trippy colors in the image above, you might be convinced you're looking at a Dali-inspired riff on The Persistence of Memory. This flash photo of melting metal is quite real and just as fantastical an achievement, though, since it's depicting the first example of working, liquid metal RAM.

This liquid metal RAM, called FlexRAM, stems from research done by researchers at Tsinghua University in China. As reported by IEEE Spectrum, FlexRAM is the first fully flexible resistive RAM device. Its main components involve droplets of liquid metal gallium (charge used for 1/0 binary memory values) suspended and injected into Ecoflex, which is a stretchable biopolymer.

According to Jing Liu, one of the researchers at Tsinghua who worked on FlexRAM, this offers "a theoretical foundation and technical path for future soft intelligent robots, brain-machine interface systems, and wearable/implantable electronic devices." While this is a revolutionary achievement and may indeed put us closer to a sci-fi future, it's important to contrast this with the actual performance of FlexRAM today.
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